How I Teach Maths

This page is all about how I teach Maths to my three, home-educated children.

Here you'll find an overview of what we do, including links to as many of the resources as possible. My home-made resources are downloadable free of charge.

I'll continually update the page with more resources as we use them.

Age Range

Only one of my children is of school age and she would be in Year 1, so most of these resources are aimed at her.

I also mention my three year old because, you know, whatever her big sister can do... She's very keen to do Maths too, so I've got her own Maths programme going on at the same time.

My one year old often plays with dried pasta, cups, dice and marbles during Maths. It's all counting and sorting!

Preschool Maths

Both of my girls love Heinemann Maths Workbooks. My three year old has started the Reception level workbooks and she's really enjoying the first one.

The omnibus pack of workbooks is very cheap on Amazon and great value for the enjoyment that my daughter gets from having her 'very own' Maths to do, like her big sister!

We bought:

New Heinemann Maths: Reception: Activity Book Omnibus Pack (affiliate link)

Early Addition
My three year old enjoyed doing pasta maths as an introduction to addition.

Online Resources and Apps
Here's a great counting ladybirds game on the internet which my daughter loves, although it is sometimes more of a challenge to operate the mouse-pad on the laptop than it is to count the spots.

We use 123 Fun as an iphone app (also available for ipad) for our three year old to work with numbers. We use the free ('lite') version and that is fun enough.

Math age 3-5 is a basic maths app that Elizabeth loves. A teacher-figure (with an English accent!) guides her through the tasks and gives her stars and certificates when she's done well.

Year 1 Maths

Having done her Reception year at school, I am picking up my 5 year old's Maths education at Year 1 level.

She started off with this book:

Collins Easy Learning - Maths: Age 5-6 (affiliate link)

It covers a variety of Maths tasks in a fun, colourful way, including games to play on every page, which went down well with both girls. My daughter did, however, hanker after the Heinemann Maths that she had so loved at school.

In Reception, she did some of the New Heinemann Maths Reception level book and some of the Year 1 level books, so I have started her on the Year 2 books.

Again, these are available in an omnibus pack from Amazon and well worth the investment.

New Heinemann Maths Year 2, Activity Book Omnibus Pack (affiliate link)

Mental Maths
It quickly became evident that my daughter was laborious about counting on/using fingers to work out even the simplest of sums. An idea that came from her friends still at school was 'Minute Maths'.

The child is given a list of simple sums to do and has to complete as many as possible in one minute. The idea is to practise their mental Maths skills and become quicker/more efficient as a result.

I am making my own series of Minute Maths sheets which you can download free of charge (you're welcome!)

I'll be adding to the series as we go along, but so far we have:
Minute Maths - Adding 1
Minute Maths - Adding 1 and 2

Maths Games
Playing games is an excellent way to do Maths, often involving all age-groups too. Here are some games we have played:
Addition game - link to my blog post about how we played this game from the Collins Maths book - you could make your own version
Frog Race - A race involving plastic frogs and dice - You could adapt it to accommodate your own toys, it doesn't have to be frogs
Naughty Threes - A simple dice game to practise counting in 5s, although you could adapt it for any number.
Shut The Box - Great for practising addition

Money Maths
Here's our very early attempt at learning about money, coins and values, with some ideas you could use.

Adding 10
The basic understanding of how to add 10 will help greatly with many calculations. Here's how I started to teach how to add 10.

Online Resources and Apps
These are sure to be many and varied but so far we've used:
Free online abacus resource which allowed us to represent the numbers as so many hundreds, tens and units.

Mental Maths for iPhone/iPod is a fun way to practise all sorts of calculations. Well worth the (small) price for the app.

We also love Hungry Fish - feed your fish numbers and practise addition at the same time.

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